6.2/10
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The Eagle (2011)

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In Roman-ruled Britain, a young Roman soldier endeavors to honor his father's memory by finding his lost legion's golden emblem.

Director:

Kevin Macdonald

Writers:

Jeremy Brock (screenplay), Rosemary Sutcliff (novel)
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Popularity
4,533 ( 780)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Channing Tatum ... Marcus
István Göz István Göz ... Cohort Centurion
Bence Gerö Bence Gerö ... Celt Boy / Young Marcus
Denis O'Hare ... Lutorius
Paul Ritter ... Galba
Zsolt László Zsolt László ... Paulus
Julian Lewis Jones ... Cassius
Aladár Laklóth Aladár Laklóth ... Flavius Aquila
Marcell Miklós Marcell Miklós ... Fort Legionary 1
Bálint Magyar Bálint Magyar ... Fort Legionary 2
Ferenc Pataki Ferenc Pataki ... Fort Legionary 3
Bálint Antal Bálint Antal ... Young Legionary
Lukács Bicskey Lukács Bicskey ... Druid
Douglas Henshall ... Cradoc
James Hayes James Hayes ... Stephanos
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Storyline

In 140 AD, twenty years after the unexplained disappearance of the entire Ninth Legion in the mountains of Scotland, young centurion Marcus Aquila (Tatum) arrives from Rome to solve the mystery and restore the reputation of his father, the commander of the Ninth. Accompanied only by his British slave Esca (Bell), Marcus sets out across Hadrian's Wall into the uncharted highlands of Caledonia - to confront its savage tribes, make peace with his father's memory, and retrieve the lost legion's golden emblem, the Eagle of the Ninth. Written by Focus Features

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The destiny of a soldier. The honour of a slave. The fate of an empire.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for battle sequences and some disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Scottish Gaelic

Release Date:

11 February 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

L'aigle de la neuvième légion See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,684,464, 13 February 2011, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$19,490,041, 7 April 2011

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,122,040, 7 April 2011
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jamie Bell never rode a horse before filming this movie. He had to learn on set. See more »

Goofs

Nearly all Roman soldiers are shown wearing crude leather vambraces. While the Roman army of that era indeed had a complex arm guard known as the manica, these were not standard issue, composed of metal plates, and considerably more sophisticated than the fairly basic pieces of equipment worn here. Furthermore, although vambraces similar to the ones from the movie were used in later Roman armies and by the Byzantines, there is no evidence to suggest that they were already in use in the 2nd century. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Marcus Aquila: Marcus Flavius Aquila, Fourth Cohort of Gaul, Second Legion, come to relieve the command.
Lutorius: Lutorius Drusillus Salinator, acting senior officer.
Marcus Aquila: Where's the garrison commander?
Lutorius: He left this morning, sir. Couldn't wait to get away.
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Crazy Credits

"This motion picture used sustainability strategies to reduce its carbon emissions and environmental impact." See more »

Connections

Featured in Breakfast: Episode dated 10 March 2011 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

The Return of the Eagle
Performed by Torc featuring Eoghan Neff, Flaithri Neff (as The Neff Brothers) and Atli Örvarsson
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
If I'm wrong then I shall die: And that's how it should be.
11 April 2012 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

The Eagle is directed by Kevin Macdonald and adapted to screenplay by Jeremy Brock from the book The Eagle of the Ninth written by Rosemary Sutcliff. It stars Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell, Donald Sutherland, Tahar Rahim and Mark Strong. Music is scored by Atli Örvarsson and cinematography by Anthony Dod Mantle.

In 120 AD, The Roman Ninth Legion marched into Caledonia, they, along with their precious Golden Eagle standard, were never seen again. 20 years later and Marcus Flavius Aquila (Tatum) arrives in Britain to serve as a garrison commander. He carries a burden, though, for the Ninth Legion was led by his father. It is perhaps his destiny that he go forth into Caledonia to maybe solve the mystery and restore honour to the family name?

Better angry than dead.

A film of two different, but equally enjoyable, halves, The Eagle is a delightful throw back to the swords and shields movies of old. All things are in place for a rollicking tale of courage, friendship and honour, and the film mostly delivers on its premise. First half is all about character introduction and motives required for plotting. We get some clanking sword play and splendid synchronised army manoeuvres as a garrison defence unfolds. Great to report that CGI and digital blood are not dominating proceedings, this is very human, even if the editing is of the whippy kind. A turn of events then sees Marcus come by way of Bell's slave, incidents are defined and we then move into the second half of the picture.

Life, life, LIFE!

Here is where the film becomes a character piece as two men from different walks of life, enemies with anger and determination gnawing away at their souls, traverse the magnificent Scottish Highlands (Dod Mantle's photography is breath taking at times) to solve the mystery of The Ninth. What follows is an invigorating olde world adventure where mistrust, redemption and unknown tribes reside. Dialogue stays sharp and Macdonald never lest the pace sag. There's a pleasant adherence to period flavourings, with the Romans and their foes given an intelligent make over by the writer, while it's really refreshing to find there isn't a token female love interest jimmied into the story.

Film, perhaps inevitably given the modest budget and expectations afforded it, is far from flawless, but it's becoming increasingly difficult to understand just what the modern audience, or indeed old classics movie fans, expect of a genre film such as this? The churlish decry the casting of American Tatum in the lead, but what he lacks in actual depth of talent is more than compensated for by him knowing how to make the role of Marcus work. With impressive physicality and square jawed machismo, he cuts a splendid rugged figure, he also knows how to brood, essential for any stoic hero stung by a slur on his family name. Bell slots in nicely as the weak of body but strong of mind slave, Esca, the unrecognisable Rahim scores very well as a warrior tribesman, while the technical touches within the picture (including Örvarsson's score) are genre compliant.

Sutherland's casting is odd, and Mark Strong is badly wasted, and the ending, whilst satisfactory, is not as grandiose as it should be. The latter more galling given the one they rejected, that's available in the extras on the DVD, would have closed the film down far better. Yet this is a far better film than its box office take and internet ratings suggests it is. The days of magnificent historical epics and eye dazzling choreographed sword fights sadly look a long way off now. That doesn't mean that fans of such films have to accept any genre offering that comes their way, for example such as Neil Marshall's very uneven Centurion, but something like the smaller scale treats of The Eagle deserve our support. 7.5/10


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